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As VodaClear gets the go ahead, Telecom takes its opportunity

We’ve seen the banks gunning for new customers after a big merger. Now, after Vodafone’s $840 million takeover of TelstraClear was cleared by the Commerce Commission yesterday, it’s time for the telcos to have some fun, with Telecom running a full-page print ad today riffing on TelstraClear’s slogan.  

Vodafone says the TelstraClear brand will be phased out within the next year or two and TelstraClear chief executive Dr Allan Freeth is on his way out after seven years at the company with his last day being November 1.

TelstraClear chairman Gordon Ballantyne said the company had grown from a fledgling challenger to a major profitable player under Freeth’s leadership.

The transaction is tipped to be completed today but Vodafone and TelstraClear will keep trading as separate business units to begin with. 

“This acquisition will allow us to combine our strength in mobile with TelstraClear’s strength in fixed communications solutions,” says Vodafone New Zealand chief executive Russell Stanners. “Vodafone has a strong track record of innovation and New Zealanders can look forward to a whole lot more from Vodafone over the coming months and years.”

The Commerce Commission didn’t find any significant business overlap between Vodafone and TelstraClear in the provision of either mobile phone services or fixed line services to large businesses.

“In reaching its decision, the commission considered that the merged entity would continue to face competition from Telecom, as well as Orcon, Slingshot and other smaller businesses in providing fixed line voice and broadband services to residential and small business customers,” said chairman Dr Mark Berry. 

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